Singapore Property News: 5th to 15th April 2016

Real Estate News

Property Market Activities

Cheung Kong Property eyeing GLS sites (BT, 15 April 2016)

Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited, which is slated to commence sales for its eighth residential project in Singapore next month, is keen to clinch more sites under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme – be it commercial, residential, or mixed-use sites. Its 8th Singapore project, Stars of Kovan, is set to begin sales in May at an average price of S$1,550-1,600 psf.

Another Sembawang EC to be launched (ST, 14 April 2016)

Another executive condominium (EC) project, Parc Life, will hit the market on Saturday – the second EC development to be launched in Sembawang in just over a week. The 628-unit EC in Sembawang Crescent, jointly developed by Frasers Centrepoint and Keong Hong Holdings, promises “doorstep access” to adjacent Canberra Park, and is near Sembawang MRT station. Parc Life comprises two- to five-bedroom units in a variety of layouts, ranging from 753 sq ft to 1,550 sq ft, average prices range from $770 to $800 psf.

Prices of private resale flats up 0.3% in March (BT, 13 April 2016)

Resale prices of non-landed private homes inched up 0.3 per cent last month, compared with February, SRX Property estimates. This was buoyed by the uptick of 0.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent in the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) respectively. Resale prices in the Core Central Region (CCR) however slipped 1.7 per cent last month. Property consultants deduced that the launch of CapitaLand’s Cairnhill Nine project in Orchard could have drawn interest away from the resale market in the CCR region.

Sharp rise in resale private home sales (ST, 13 April 2016)

Sales of resale non-landed private homes hit an eight-month high last month, owing to a surge in transactions after Chinese New Year resulted in a traditionally quiet February. However, despite last month’s surge, analysts say it’s too early to declare market has turned corner. An estimated 577 resale units were sold in March, up 47.6 per cent from 391 in February, and the highest since 586 units changed hands in July last year, according to a flash report by SRX Property.

Tengah’s attraction ‘lies in rejuvenation plans, low prices’ (ST, 13 April 2016)

The main draw of Tengah new town is that its announcement comes amid rejuvenation plans for the west of Singapore. The low prices expected for flats there, should offset any inconveniences from the nearby military airbase.However, property experts also note that Tengah’s relatively remote location in the west could result in lower interest, especially compared with more central estates such as Bidadari.

Too early to unwind cooling measures: Lawrence Wong (BT, 12 April 2016)

Two Members of Parliament, Alex Yam (Marsiling – Yew Tee) and Chong Kee Hiong (Bishan – Toa Payoh), again warned of the need to rein back on cooling measures to prevent further decline in home prices. And unfazed, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong echoed the same. But the minister maintained that the measures have been effective in stabilising the property market, and it remains “too early to declare victory and unwind the measures”.

Developers will need to incorporate needs of pedestrians, cyclists: MND (CNA, 11 April 2016)

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will require developers to plan for pedestrian and cyclist access, and review locations of bicycle parking facilities as well as vehicular access points to minimise conflict with pedestrians and cyclists. This is in line with plans to move Singapore towards a “car-lite, people-friendly” city.

Some condos being run as serviced apartments (BT, 9 April 2016)

The Business Times’ visit to said condominiums confirmed that they are being run as serviced apartments. BT’s query to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) confirmed that these three properties are currently approved for residential use, but “do not have planning permission to be run as serviced apartments”. Toh Kok Seng, senior partner at law firm Lee & Lee, said developments that do not have approval from URA to be run as serviced apartments are breaching The Planning Act if they do so.

OUE offers deferred payment for Twin Peaks (ST, 9 April 2016)

Developer gives buyers 2 payment options in bid to sell completed condo’s remaining units. Under the first variation, buyers must make a 20 per cent downpayment and sign the sale and purchase agreement by the end of this year, when the 80 per cent balance and Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) is also paid. Under the second variation, buyers make a 20 per cent downpayment and sign the sale and purchase agreement now. They can then collect the keys to their unit. The remaining 80 per cent is paid two or three years later, although OUE withholds the title deed until the full sum is paid.

Public Housing

More details unveiled on home scheme for rental flat families (BT, 12 April 2016)

The government on Monday released more details on the Fresh Start Housing Scheme, which will help families in public rental flats with young children own a home again. Under this new scheme, families may now buy a two-room flexi flat, with shorter leases ranging from 45 to 65 years. Families will be able to get another HDB concessionary loan, regardless of the number of HDB loans they have taken previously.

SRX’s HDB resale price index continues flattish performance (BT, 8 April 2016)

SRX Property’s flash estimates for March 2016 showed prices continuing their flattish performance, amid a 37.6 per cent month-on-month jump in the number of Housing and Development Board flats resold to 1,651 last month. The marginal 0.1 per cent month-on-month drop in SRX’s overall HDB resale price index in March follows a 0.2 per cent gain in February.

Government Land Sales

Digestible plot size helps draw bids for Sembawang Park site tender (BT, 8 April 2016)

A relatively small land size, affordable lumpsum investment and the absence of competition in the locale helped a 99-year leasehold private housing site near Sembawang Park to attract nine bids at a state tender. The top bid was also slightly above the higher end of market expectations. Tuan Sing Holdings’ fully-owned unit Dillenia Land placed the highest bid of S$51.07 million, which works out to S$481 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). The plot can be developed into a part-three storey and part-seven storey project.

Investment Sales

CIT sells Tuas property for S$16.5m, mulls more divestments (BT, 12 April 2016)

Industrial landlord Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT) has agreed to sell its remaining leasehold interest in a warehouse property at 23 Tuas Avenue 10 for S$16.5 million and may be planning more divestments of assets around this size as it seeks to recycle capital and venture into Australia. The four-storey industrial building has a gross floor area of around 102,310 sq ft and a remaining land tenure of about 40 years. The proposed sale price was 5 per cent above its book value of S$15.7 million and nearly twice the S$8.55 million that CIT paid for it in 2006.

Interest from local, overseas players in Cuscaden property (BT, 12 April 2016)

The late Mr Tan Hoon Siang bought the 25,741 sq ft freehold property in Cuscaden Road for $18,591 in May 1949 at an auction. He was the great-grandson of famous philanthropist Tan Tock Seng. Now the house has been put up for sale by his three sons, acting as trustees for his estate, for $160 million to $170 million. Inquiries from local and overseas players have been strong for the site since it was put on the market, said marketing agent JLL. The tender for the site closes on May 12.

Alpha fund buys rest of 78 Shenton Way (BT, 6 April 2016)

A property fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners, part of Keppel Corporation, has taken full ownership of 78 Shenton Way after buying out partner Commerz Real’s half stake in the asset. The deal priced the entire property (100 per cent interest) at about S$603 million or S$1,665 per square foot on its total net lettable area (NLA) of 362,199 sq ft. Hence the half-stake works out to S$301.5 million. The development comprises two towers built at different times on a site with a balance lease term of 66 years. The S$1,665 psf pricing for the transaction is said to reflect a net yield of around 4 per cent.

LinkedIn to open S$80m data centre in Singapore (BT, 6 April 2016)

About a third of LinkedIn’s global traffic will soon be managed by a new S$80 million data centre in Singapore. The 23,500 square foot centre in Jurong will enhance user experience, including speed and reliability of access, for the more than 85 million LinkedIn members in the Asia-Pacific (Apac). This figure has more than doubled since January 2013. Over the same period, the company’s Apac revenue has reportedly tripled.

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